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Kim Jong Un Not Severely Ill, Claim South Korean Govt's Sources

Amid conflicting reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health, two government sources from South Korea have said on April 21 that he was not gravely ill.

Kim Jong Un

Amid conflicting reports of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health after undergoing cardiovascular surgery, two government sources of international media outlet from South Korea have said on April 21 that he was "not gravely ill". Earlier, a US-based media outlet had cited American intelligence that Kim’s health was in “grave danger” but the South has clarified that those reports are ‘not true’. However, the Blue House, the official residence of the South Korean head of state, has reportedly said that there were no unusual signals from the North and therefore, it denied to confirm the "rumours" regarding Kim's health.

“We have no information to confirm regarding rumours about Chairman Kim Jong Un’s health issue that have been reported by some media outlets. Also, no unusual developments have been detected inside North Korea,” Blue House spokesman Kang Min-seok said in the statement.

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According to reports, a Seoul-based website has even cited unnamed sources inside the North and stated that their supreme leader is currently recovering at a mansion in the Mount Kumgang resort county of Hyangsan on the east coast. This is after Kim underwent a cardiovascular procedure at a hospital on April 12.

Even though the North Korean leader was not seen in public for a significantly longer period, an American source, that is familiar with the US government reporting on North Korea, had questioned a media report report about Kim being severely ill. According to reports, the US official had stressed that the US was not in a position to confirm whether Kim’s surgery took place or if any complications had occurred. The official added, “We just don’t know”. 

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Kim was absent from major event

The speculation over Kim Jong Un’s health started more vigorously after he was not seen attending the event celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung on April 15 which is also country's major holiday. But just days before on April 12, North Korean state media had reported that its premier had observed the drills by fighter jets and attack aircraft on his visit to an airbase. Kim’s last public appearance was when he headed a political bureau meeting of the Workers’ Party on April 11 over the response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak and electing his sister, Kim Yo Jong, as an alternate member of the bureau. 

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(With AP inputs)

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